Francis, a Terry Sanford High School and Campbell University graduate, said he hadn’t stepped on the flag in prior teachings.
Two students walked out of class after the incident — the latter pupil carried the flag to the principal’s office to be “properly taken care of,” Francis said. He asked the remaining students if they were offended.
They said no, he said.
“But this is exactly what I teach: You don’t teach kids how to think or what to think; you teach them to go their own path,” he said. “If they feel so convicted that this is their cause they’re going to stand for, I don’t blame them. It’s an upper-level school for those who aspire to go to college and in that regard, we have rigor and expectations, so I treat them as such.”
He added, “Not only was the demonstration warranted and justified based on the court, it’s warranted and justified in the rights we have. This is the law of the land upheld by the highest court. Freedom of speech is not just defined verbally by something you say or write down on paper, but something that can also be a physical action.”
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